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Robbery sparks Malton ‘shopwatch' scheme
TRADERS in Malton are setting up a Shopwatch scheme following a violent robbery in the town.
The initiative comes after an incident last Monday afternoon, when the owner of G Stones jeweller’s in Market Street, was struck on the head by woman who attacked her with a wooden shelf.
Geraldine Holmes, who has run the antique and second-hand jewellery shop for 35 years, said she was concerned as soon as she saw the two suspects.
“One of the women was slightly hidden at first when I went to the door, and when they came in I realised they had only come in to steal,” she said.
“I asked them to leave and they started being cheeky and saying I must be mad.”
Mrs Holmes said she had tried to get to her phone to dial 999 but was worried about turning her back.
“One of them pulled out a wallet and said she wanted to buy something but I told them they weren’t getting anything and to get out of my shop,” she added.
One of the women had then picked up a wooden shelf, hitting Mrs Holmes twice and causing her to fall back and hit her head on the corner of the counter.
They then made off with various items of jewellery including two pearl necklaces, a gold locket on a gold chain, a ruby and diamond pendant on a gold chain, an antique diamond and gold pendant on a gold chain, and a white and gold pendant on a gold chain.
Mrs Holmes was attended to by paramedics and suffered a minor head injury and a bruised shoulder.
She said: “I have been left very shocked and frightened by what happened but I was back at work on Wednesday. They are not going to get the better of me.”
The theives are believed to have targeted other shops in Malton on the same day including Tots2Teens and The Topiary Tree in Finkle Street as well as Add Accessories in Yorkersgate.
Rachel Sawyer, who set up Tots2Teens last year, said a quantity of children’s clothes had been taken from the shop by two women of a similar description.
“I was in the shop by myself and while I was keeping my eye on one of them, the other grabbed some items off the rail,” she said.
“It’s a real worry as many of the shops in town are small independent traders which is why I thought of doing a Shopwatch scheme.”
Rachel said herself and Gemma Magson, owner of The Topiary Tree, had decided to launch Malton Shopwatch to link traders in the town.
Rachel said: “We would like all shop owners and businesses in Malton to get involved so that if someone is acting suspiciously in their shop, they can phone on to the next shop and warn them and so on round the town.
“It can also be used for other incidents such as when fake £20 notesare being passed around.”
Gemma said small independent shops were often seen as easier targets.
“This could happen to any of us. We need to stick together and get rid of crime like this from Malton,” she added.
PC Jane Jones, of Malton Police, said she fully supported the initiative.
“It is great that they are taking this on. The police can support them with text messages and emails regarding incidents as well as training and posters,” she said.
“This is a positive step for shops to be communicating between themselves in this way. A small market town such as Malton really needs an initiative like this.”
People interesting in joining the Malton Shopwatch scheme should phone Rachel Sawyer on 01653 228619.
The suspects in the jewellery robbery are described as being of Eastern European appearance. One wore a striped t-shirt, thought to be dark blue and cream, and jeans. The other wore a light coloured cardigan over a cream t-shirt. Both wore large hooped earrings.
Anyone who has further information regarding the jewellery robbery should phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Dave Kirk or email email@example.com
If you wish to remain anonymous, information can be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting reference 12130035817.